Book Review: LITTLE SHOP OF HOMICIDE by Denise Swanson

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Series: A Devereaux Dime Store Mystery, #1
Publisher: Signet
Released: March 6, 2012
Source: Review copy from publisher

Dev Sinclair is the happy new owner of the old-fashioned shop in her small Missouri town. But if she doesn’t focus on finding the killer of her ex’s fiancée, this five-and-dime owner may find herself serving twenty-five to life…

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Devereaux Sinclair owns Devereaux’s Dime Store and Gift Baskets, located in the small Missouri town of Shadow Bend. Dev left a job with a financial investment firm to move back to her hometown to take care of her grandmother. Unfortunately for Dev, the items from one of her gift basket creations were used to kill the fiancee of her ex-boyfriend, and now she has a cantankerous detective breathing down her neck. To make matters worse, he’s got a personal vendetta against her, so putting her away for murder is his only goal. Dev is afraid the police aren’t looking for other suspects, so she enlists the help of her two best friends and her neighbor’s sexy nephew, Jake, to hunt down the real killer. Jake also happens to be a US Marshall, so his connections will come in handy, and the fact that he’s a hottie doesn’t hurt either.

LITTLE SHOP OF HOMICIDE is a delightful start to Denise Swanson’s new series. My first thought after finishing this book was that romance fans (like me) will enjoy it. A significant part of the story was the budding relationship between Dev and Jake and their lustful attraction to each other. That may not work for some fans of cozy mysteries, but I loved it. I felt like Dev’s quest to uncover the real killer stayed the focus of the plot, so a heavier romantic element did not take away from the mystery. This was not an easy one to figure out – there were nice twists and turns along the way.

Likable, multi-dimensional characters and a colorful small town setting made this an enjoyable read. I loved the descriptions of Dev’s dime store, from the old-fashioned cash register to the soda fountains and paperback book racks. I could easily picture myself there. I’d recommend this book to mystery fans who don’t mind some spiciness between the book covers. ;-) I’m eagerly anticipating the next Deveraux’s Dime Store Mystery!

Rating: 4 Stars

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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